Sector Shaft And Bushing Replacement In The Car??

Old Willy

Bigger Hammer
Jan 1, 2010
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
On this cold, Winter day I'm getting cabin fever and planning the things I want to do to my '54 Willys Wagon when the weather breaks. My steering box has side play on the sector shaft telling me I need new bushings and possibly a new shaft. Here's my dillema. I've looked at the car, studied the service manual and it looks like I could change the bushings and shaft WITHOUT removing the steering box from the car. I REALLY DON'T want to pull the whole box and column if I can avoid it, so here's my questions.

1) Can I in fact leave the box mounted in the car?
2) When the new bushings are pressed (driven) in do they need to be reamed to size like a king pin or is it a direct fit?
3) Has anyone done this job with the box left in their Willys?

Thanks in advance,
Old Willy
Old Willy,
I'm gettng ready to do the same thing come spring time. Too damn cold to be rollin' around on the cement floor right now. Anyway, I'm told it can be done in the vehicle. I'm counting on it, as I do not want to remove the whole thing either. As far as reaming those bushings; I was informed that they were of proper size. I suppose all of this could change, but that's my perception as of this moment. I think I'll make a phone call today and post more later, if I don't get carried away with work. :lol:
Thanks for encouraging comments. It really does look like the box can be rebushed without removing it from the vehicle.

I found a pictorial guide to rebuilding a Willys steering box at--

This person has the box out, but it sure looks like if you pull the top cover and remove the pittman arm you can push the sector shaft up and out. He talks about driving the bushings out and back in with a 3/4 socket and doesn't mention the need to ream or hone them to size. When the weather breaks, I'm going to give it a try.

Old Willy
Old Willy,
Sounds like you may get to yours before I get to mine. If so, be sure to let us know how it went, ok? Good luck to ya.